16 December 2021

Corporate Leadership & Different Types of Leaders

Author: Rakshit Behel, International full-time MBA

A key part of our MBA at MIP, Politecnico di Milano, has been about developing an understanding of our future career path. Since the course admits high-calibre individuals with prior experience, a lot of its graduates find themselves in a leadership position.

Therefore, it’s important to understand what kind of a leader you wish to grow into as an industry professional! Let’s start with an overview of some different styles of corporate leadership:

Laissez-faire leadership
The laissez-faire leadership type, also known as delegative leadership, is a style of non-intervention and is characterised by a lack of regular feedback.

Autocratic leadership
Autocratic leadership allows supervisors to make decisions and set guidelines without group participation. The leader concentrates all the power and no one challenges his/her decisions.

Democratic leadership
Usually called participatory leadership, this type of leadership is characterised by creating enthusiasm among workers by prioritising the participation of the entire group.

Transactional leadership
Transactional leadership is based on transactions, that is, an exchange of processes between leaders and their followers. Followers receive awards for their job performance and the leader benefits because they fulfil the tasks.

Transformational leadership
Transformational leaders use high levels of communication to achieve the objectives and provide a vision of change that they manage to transmit to the employees.

If I could only pick one, I would choose to be a transformational leader; someone who is able to generate maximum output with a vision towards the future. A leader should try to ensure clear communication coupled with empathy among his/her teammates. It is important to understand the motivations of your team and what drives them at an individual level.

In view of the way businesses have had to adapt to the hybrid model that combines working in an office with working at home, as a leader I would like to keep my team congruent with the overall goals. A leader should exhibit a certain sophistication in emotional intelligence in ensuring that nobody feels like they have been left out, whether they are slogging away at their desk or at home. It becomes important to learn quickly and to be comfortable with the technology that allows for efficient communication and for daily operations to run on schedule.

Despite classifying leadership in different styles, we have often seen that it doesn’t happen in a “one-approach-fits-all” style. As a team is composed of diverse individuals, various situations might require us to be a different kind of leader while leading a team. As an individual, I have to try to take responsibility for my work, so I love working with laissez-faire leaders. A leader should keep his/her team motivated by always acknowledging their work. Sometimes you will have a view that is a little different from that of the rest of the group; a democratic leader would try to understand my perspective in order to achieve better results.

As a professional looking to grow into the role of a leader in your own field, you should try to understand which approach suits you best and keeps the morale of your team high, while simultaneously achieving the goals you have set for them. If you manage to stay involved, have good  communication in place and a clear vision of your objectives, the knowledge gained from the International MBA will help you implement successful corporate frameworks to optimise the results achieved by your team.

16 December 2021

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